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A human adenovirus encoding IFN-γ can transduce Tasmanian devil facial tumour cells and upregulate MHC-I


Kayigwe, AN and Darby, JM and Lyons, AB and Patchett, AL and Lisowski, L and Liu, G-S and Flies, AS, A human adenovirus encoding IFN-γ can transduce Tasmanian devil facial tumour cells and upregulate MHC-I, Journal of General Virology, 103, (11) pp. 1-8. ISSN 0022-1317 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© 2022. The Authors. This article was made open-access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding authorís institution. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1099/jgv.0.001812


The devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) has led to a massive decline in the wild Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population. The disease is caused by two independent devil facial tumours (DFT1 and DFT2). These transmissible cancers have a mortality rate of nearly 100 %. An adenoviral vector-based vaccine has been proposed as a conservation strategy for the Tasmanian devil. This study aimed to determine if a human adenovirus serotype 5 could express functional transgenes in devil cells. As DFT1 cells do not constitutively express major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I), we developed a replication-deficient adenoviral vector that encodes devil interferon gamma (IFN-γ) fused to a fluorescent protein reporter. Our results show that adenoviral-expressed IFN-γ was able to stimulate upregulation of beta-2 microglobulin, a component of MHC-I, on DFT1, DFT2 and devil fibroblast cell lines. This work suggests that human adenoviruses can serve as a vaccine platform for devils and potentially other marsupials.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adenovirus, viral vector, vaccine, Tasmanian devil, wildlife
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Veterinary sciences
Research Field:Veterinary immunology
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Veterinary pharmaceutical products
Objective Field:Veterinary biological preventatives
UTAS Author:Kayigwe, AN (Mr Ahab Kayigwe)
UTAS Author:Darby, JM (Ms Jocelyn Darby)
UTAS Author:Lyons, AB (Associate Professor Bruce Lyons)
UTAS Author:Patchett, AL (Dr Amanda Patchett)
UTAS Author:Liu, G-S (Associate Professor Guei-Sheung Liu)
UTAS Author:Flies, AS (Dr Andy Flies)
ID Code:154357
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE180100484)
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-11-25
Last Modified:2022-12-16
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